The Mobility as a Service (MaaS) concept was launched two years ago at the last ITS European Congress in Helsinki and it is now becoming a well-established business model, attracting the interest of public authorities, service providers, and technology companies. The MaaS Alliance, which was launched at the ITS World Congress in Bordeaux, France, last October, has now held its first meeting at the European Congress in Glasgow.
Now officially established as an independent organization in Brussels, Belgium, the MaaS Alliance is a public-private partnership (P3) with 18 founding members, including: the Finnish Ministry of Transport, ERTICO-ITS Europe, ACEA, IRU, FIA, Cubic, MaaS Finland, RACC, Siemens, and Xerox. The Alliance’s first meeting in Glasgow was an opportunity to set a plan for the further development of its activities and kick off the four working groups: Single Market, End user perspective, Legal framework, and Technical. The Alliance is creating the foundations for a common approach to MaaS, unlocking the economies of scale needed for successful implementation and take-up of the concept in Europe and elsewhere.
MaaS fulfils users’ needs for mobility with a wide range of transportation services for both travelers and goods, offering tailor-made transport on demand and mobility options that are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. To meet a customer’s needs, a MaaS service provider arranges the most suitable transport method, be it public transport, taxi or car rental, or ride-, car- or bike-sharing.
Following the trend and the interest of the ITS industry, this year’s European Congress is hosting several sessions around the theme, with the Mobility as a Service topic itself heavily represented at Plenary, Executive, and Special Interest sessions focusing of different aspects of the business. The MaaS Alliance is keen to point out that it is open to public and private companies or organizations that can join as full members or associated partners.
In his speech at the Opening Ceremony, Cees de Wijs, chairman of the ERTICO Supervisory Board, said, “Mobility as a Service has been hot news in all corners of Europe since it was presented at the ITS Europe Congress in Helsinki two years ago. The MaaS Alliance is the initiative dedicated to building the foundations for a fast-growing and open market in MaaS, for Europe and globally.”
According to Rasmus Lindholm, ERTICO’s director of communications and partnership development, “MaaS has the potential to fundamentally change the behavior of people in and beyond cities, hence it is regarded as the biggest paradigm change in transport since affordable cars came into the market.”
Father of the Mobility as a Service concept, Sampo Hietanen, CEO of ITS Finland, noted, “MaaS is a new approach to changing mobility markets. It relies on existing and developing transport services and has a huge chance for global scaling.”